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NATURAL RESOURCE ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN CZECH REPUBLIC

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AGRICULTURE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

No information is available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

State agricultural policy does not support ecological or integrated agricultural production as such, but for social purposes (LFA) it does increase support for: reforestation, maintaining the landscape, pasture of beef herds without milk production, non-productive forest functions, and support of less favored areas. Environmental criteria are not the purpose of the support.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

In 1996, the share of agricultural production in the Czech Republic stabilized at 30% of the GDP. The use of fertilizers and pesticides is at a low level and has an impact of low profitability of agricultural production. On the negative side, pollution of surface water (nitrogen, soil from erosion) leads also to the pollution of neighboring countries and to a low level of eco-stability of the countryside. On the positive side, there are good quality of ground water and no monoculture in plant production (high biodiversity).

The share of ecological agriculture in the Czech Republic in 1996 was 0.4% (17,022 ha) of total agricultural land. Integrated agricultural systems are also used, mostly for vineyards (4,422 ha).

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation  

No information is available

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of the Czech Republic to the 5th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: December 1997.

For information on land use for agriculture, click here.
Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
For country reports on Plant Genetic Resources, click here.
Click here to go to Web Site of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, which includes information on the Codex Alimentarius and the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme.
Click here to access the Web Site of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).
Click here to access the sixteen international agricultural research centers that are members of the CGIAR.

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ATMOSPHERE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Ministries of:  Industry and Trade; Environment; Agriculture; Finance; Foreign Affairs;  Transportation and Communication; and Czech Environmental Inspection are responsible for making decisions regarding the protection of the atmosphere.

Inter-ministerial Commission on Climate Change as an advisory body to the Minister of the Environment has been reestablished in 1998. The Commission consists of representatives of Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Transportation and Communication, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs , Members of Parliament, scientists and representatives of NGO´s.

Decisions regarding small sources of air pollution (thermal output lower than 0,2 MW) are delegated to the lowest level of public authority.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Better agricultural practice is one of the requirements of the new prepared Law of Air Protection.

A new law on the air protection and ozone layer protection, which provides for the claims of the Peking Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, is being prepared. The Czech Republic aims to access to Peking Amendment by the end of 2000. The law is being prepared the way to correspond to European Parliament and Council regulation (EC) No 2037/2000, which came into force on the 1 October 2000.

The Czech Republic, with the support of the State Environmental Fund, realizes the Chlorofluorocarbon Programme. The programme should ensure the introduction of systematic collecting, recycling and neutralization of the regulated substances and products encompassing freons by the 2003.

In July, the fundamental version of the Procedure of providing for halons collecting was  put together. This structure should be established by the end of 2003.

The usage of the medical preparations with the freons should be reduced and replaced with non-chlorofluorcarbon substances by the 2003.

Decision-making is the responsibility of the Ministry of the Environment - Air Protection Department. Protection of the air against pollution is provided by Act No 309/1991 (amended by Act No. 211/1994) and Act No. 389/1991 (amended by Act No. 212/1994) on State administration for air protection and air pollution charges. Protection of the ozone layer is governed by Act No. 86/1995.

Legislations that address the protection of the atmosphere include: Law No. 309/1991 Coll.  amended by the law No.  211/1994 Coll.; Law No. 389/1991 Coll.  amended by the law No. 212/1994 Coll.; Decree 117/1997 amended by the decree 97/2000; Decree 41/1992; and Regulation 41/92.  Law No. 389/1991 Coll. amended by the law No.  212/1994 Coll. sets air pollution charges (fiscal regulation).

There are no compensations for the adverse effects of atmospheric pollution in the Czech law concerning air protection. However there is the possibility to use the civil law in this case.  In cases of accidents the responsible firms should pay to the farmers.  

Other methods being used for the protection of atmosphere include: Transposition  of the EU directives concerning air protection; ban of leaded petrol in CR from 1.1.2001; and replacement of petrol by gas fuels. The Czech Ministry of the Environment is also endorsing the use of compressed natural gas especially in public passenger and municipal freight transport (i.e. city buses and municipal lorries).

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The overall strategy for protecting the atmosphere forms a part of the state environmental policy.

In 1999, the National Climate Change Strategy in the Czech Republic has been prepared by the ICCC. The Government of the Czech Republic has approved this document on 17 May 1999. It contains e.g. the current stage of GHG emissions, their projections in 2010 time horizon in two scenarios, it formulates priorities for further emission reduction and enhancing removals by sinks sector-by-sector and current position of the Czech Republic towards different Kyoto mechanisms. According to governmental decision No.480/99, Ministries of the Environment, Industry and Trade, Transportation and Communication, Agriculture and Finance are responsible for its implementation on their relevant levels. This document has been formulated as an open document, which could be amended any time to reflect actual course of international negotiations.

The strategy relating to substances that deplete the ozone layer involves meeting of the requirements of the Montreal protocol.  Transboundary air pollution is addressed through meeting the obligations resulting for the Czech Republic from the Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution.

National policies and measures in the meaning of the governmental decision No.480/99 are as follows:

Goals for mitigation of the ozone layer depletion: are as follows:

    a)     Short-terms goals

Formulation of the new legal principles for protection of the ozone layer

-          Introduction of the system of collecting, recycling and neutralization of the regulated substances

-          Introduction of the systems of the halons’ collecting

 b)      Long-term goals

-        Eliminate the usage of the HCFC substances by 2010

-          Eliminate the usage of methyl bromide by 2005

Obligations concerning transboundary air pollution result for the Czech republic from the Protocol to abate acidification, eutrophication and ground-level ozone(ACETO):

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

The Society for Sustainable Living and other NGOs also participate in decision-making.

Programmes and Projects 

Measures or changes that have been introduced to industrial and agricultural activities in order to reduce green house gas emissions and concentrations include the following: 

Industry:

·        Carrying out of tasks resulting from the State Program for Energy Savings and Greater Utilization of Renewable Resources.

 Agriculture and Forestry:

·        Increase of forest areas through a suitable afforestation of unmanaged land,

·        Development of new technologies of soil treatment and cultivation procedures

The projects which are aimed at promoting a better understanding of the processes and consequences of changes in the atmosphere include:  

- Czech Hydrometeorological Institute:

   Air Pollution and Atmospheric Deposition in Data, the Czech Republic 1999, CHMI, Prague

- Project “Climate Change Research and Systematic Observations”, National Climate Programme

Status

Related to the climate change the most vulnerable sectors are water resources, agriculture and forestry; they are minor effects on human health, settlements, and economic activities.

Between the years 1998 and 1999 the emissions of SO2 , NOx, and CO decreased dramatically in the Czech Republic due to the new emission limits.  In the period of 1990-1998 the total GHG emissions have been reduced by 23%; since 1994 aggregated GHG emissions are more or less stabilized. 85,9% of all emissions are covered by CO2, 7,7% by CH4,  6,1% by N2O and 0,3% by “new gases” HFC, PFC and SF6.

Automatic continuous monitoring systems for measurement of the three main pollutants (sulphur dioxides, carbon monoxides and nitrogen oxides) have been installed in the three most polluted areas (North Bohemia, Prague, Ostrava). Detailed information on pollution levels are given daily by the two national TV channels.

Methyl bromide is not produced in the Czech Republic. Its usage is provided   with the import. The usage will be eliminate for the general purposes according to upcoming law on the air protection and ozone layer protection by the 2005.  The production of the HCFC substances is forbidden in the Czech Republic since 1997. Their need is covered by the import. The import and the need of these substances will be excluded by the 2010.

Anthropogenic national annual emissions in 2010 are the following (in thousands of tones per year):

                     SO2 : 283

                     NO2: 286

                     NH3 < 101

                    NMVOC: 220

Reforestation and suitable afforestation of unmanaged land are conducted to increase greenhouse gas sinks.  About 3-4% of our total emission balance are sinks due to forest activities.

Anthropogenic national annual emissions 1998 – 1999 in thousand of tones per year in the Czech Republic:

1998 1999
SO2 443 269
NOx 413 390
CO 767 686

The measures taken to protect the ozone layer, as given above, should provide for:

Challenges

There are no problems with air pollution in rural areas, but there are problems in urban areas. For example the Capital City of Prague, in particular the city center, reported the highest values of NOx in the Czech Republic in recent years with a moderately rising trend caused by the rising traffic density. In 1999 the daily limit values were exceeded again at most Prague stations in the amount exceeding 5 % of all cases. There is no problem with sulfur dioxide. The suspended particulate matter shows similar falling trend in the Czech Republic within 1990 – 1999 period as SO2 pollution.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

Public awareness of climate change and protection of the atmosphere is promoted through:

Priority areas for capacity building identified in the Czech Republic are and will be focused primarily on:

o      Improving the quality of the national greenhouse gas inventories, including establishing of national registry systems,

o       Facilitating the elaboration of national policies and measures to reduce emissions  and estimating their effects,

o       Preparing  national communications and national action plans,

o       Promoting research and systematic observation of an impact assessment and adaptation methods,

o    Development of education, training and public awareness raising exchange.

Information 

Pursuant to the current legislation, air pollution sources are divided into four categories. Complying with this categorization, the ISKO system operated by the Czech hydrometeorological institute (CHMI) includes REZZO 1 – 4 databases (Register of Emissions and Air Pollution Sources) which serve for achieving and presenting data on stationary and mobile air pollution sources. Large and medium-sized sources are monitored individually (point – sources pollution), small source at local level (area sources) and mobile sources at national level (line sources). 

1.      Large pollution sources – REZZO 1

2.      Medium sized pollution sources - REZZO 2

3.      Small pollution sources – REZZO 3

4.      Mobile emission sources  - REZZO 4 

The Czech Environmental Inspection Office (CIZP) is in charge of data collection  and verification of the category of large pollution sources.

CHMI in cooperation with other organizations is in charge of the rest of the categories in the REZZO database.  The ISKO system also contains emission database, which contains data from networks of air quality monitoring stations in the Czech Republic. Data are available on the pages of the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (www.chmi.cz).  Information is disseminated and shared at the national and international levels through the reporting to the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution and through the reporting to the European Commission.

Research and Technologies 

The Air Quality Information System collects and generally provides access to data gathered within major air pollution monitoring networks. It thus provides for a more effective and general utilization of the data. The integrated regionalized evaluation of air pollution levels, and analysis of the development over time of the status of air pollution in the Czech Republic would not be feasible without collecting and archiving systematically at one place all the air pollution data available. Moreover, the constant need to ensure that, these assessments are objective requires simultaneous access to emission, meteorological and climate data, as well as geographical information on the location of pollution sources, the extent and sites of forests and residential areas, the routes of highways and railways etc. When preparing chart and maps of the air pollution and deposition load on the country's territory, geostatistical procedures and the tools of the Geographic Information System (GIS) map algebra are applied to estimate fields of air pollution and deposition characteristics derived from point (station) measurements. It is especially the method IDW and the interpolation method kriging. Both of the above mentioned interpolation methods enable the performing of an objective analysis of the field, i.e. they allow value estimation in every point of the field.

In Annex No. 1 to decree No. 117/1997 Coll., measuring methods and technical requirements on instruments for continuous measurements of emissions from sources of air pollution, are described.

Energy efficiency technologies are needed and are being developed to reduce green house gases emissions and thereby to protect the atmosphere.

Financing

Between 1990 and 1994, approximately 40% of all environmental expenditures were spent on air pollution control (on equipment to reduce emissions and to reconstruct power plants). The State Environment Fund supports investment projects on air pollution control through direct allocations and soft loans. In 1997, the National Property Fund will transfer CZK 6.1 billion to the State Environment Fund to support the Air Recovery Programme.

Cooperation

The Czech Republic is a party of Montreal Protocol since the year 1993 and has ratified it and signed all the Amendments which include: London Copenhagen Amendment in 1996. The Czech government is preparing the accession to the Beijing Amendment.  The latest report to the Montreal Protocol Secretariat was prepared in 1996.  It has also ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and submitted its report to the UNFCCC Secretariat in 1997.  The Czech Republic signed and ratified UNFCCC in 1993, and signed the Kyoto Protocol in 1998. The Czech republic  is now prepared for starting the ratification of the Kyoto protocol after the COP-6 together with the EU.

The Czech Republic is a party of the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution, and it fulfills its obligations resulting from that Convention.

 

Annex No. 5 to decree No. 117/1997 Coll.

 

MEASURING METHODS AND TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS
ON INSTRUMENTS FOR CONTINUOUS MEASUREMENTS

 I. Methods of continuous analysis for measurement of

 A.   Solid pollutants

               - absorption of beta radiation
               - photometry

 B. Gaseous emissions

Principle of the method   Air pollutant measured
- infrared spectrometry SO2, CO, NOx (NO), Cl-
- ultraviolet spectrometry SO2,  NOx (NO), CO
- potentiometry F- and Cl
- colorimetry H2S
- flame-ionization detection hydrocarbons, organic substances
- catalytic combustion hydrocarbons, organic substances
- chemiluminescence NOx (NO)

 II. Requirements on instruments for continuous measurement of pollutant emissions

   Pollutant emissions shall be measured using instruments that must comply with the following technical parameters

 

a)

minimum detectable amount

 

to 2% of the range

 

b)

surrounding temperature

 

+ 5oC to 35oC or -10oC to + 55oC

 

c)

temperature dependence of the zero point during a change of 10oC

 

less than ± 2% of the most sensitive range (external effects must be compensated)

 

d)

temperature dependence

sensitivity (of data) to a change of 10oC

 

less than  ± 3% of the range

greater effects must be compensated

 

e)

interfering effect of all other components on the measurement

 

less than ± 4% of the most sensitive range

 

f)

90% time value

 

must not be greater than 200 sec. incl. the sampling equipment

 

g)

changes in zero during the control interval

 

must not be greater than ± 2% in the most sensitive range

 

h)

change in sensitivity over the same period

 

must not be greater than ± 2% in the most sensitive range

 

i)

sample collection and sampling equipment

 

shall be designed so as to prevent clogging with solid substances and  sorption of the measured substance

 

 

j)

zero and reference points

 

must be controlled during the interval by at least 1x recording on the recording equipment

 

k)

the manufacturer must specify time intervals for zeroing, calibration and maintenance

 

* * *

 

This information was provided by the Government of the Czech Republic to the 9th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: March 2001.

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Click here for information on ozone.
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BIODIVERSITY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

No information is available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Another important element of the strategy is the legislation to have been amended by the end of 1996. The current Act on Nature and Landscape Protection (114/1992) does not provide economic instruments to encourage nature protection. The legislation will be reassessed to harmonize the legitimate interests of nature conservation and appropriate forms of economic activity, and to provide under the law the control of trade in endangered and protected animal and plant species in accordance with the CITES Convention. The Act emphasizes the territorial system of ecological stability which represents the national ecological network, which is connected with the European Ecological Network.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

The biological diversity in the Czech Republic has been markedly reduced due to industrial pollution, large-scale farming and unfavorable agricultural practices with heavy use of chemicals. Therefore, conservation of biological diversity is considered one of the priorities of the State Environmental Policy. During 1999-2005, the primary targets will be to protect biodiversity by minimizing harmful impacts, revitalizing biotopes and protecting and reintroducing endangered indigenous species.

An important element of the Czech Nature Protection Strategy is the system of protected areas: national parks (l,l03 km2), protected landscape areas (10,416 km2), national nature reserves (264 km2), national nature monuments (27 km2), nature reserves (257 km2) and nature monuments (276 km2). The establishment of national parks is provided by Government decree.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No  information is available

Status 

Due to some improvements in agricultural practices, biological diversity is gradually improving in the Czech Republic. Many invertebrates and birds are reappearing. New hedgerows, bush game refuges and green areas have been established to divide ploughed fields and to limit the extent of erosion of agricultural land. Consequently, the number of game animals has increased.

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies 

No information is available

Financing 

Subsidies were provided from the state budget for the following measures: protection of the landscape against erosion, preservation and reinforcing of species biodiversity, increasing the retention capacity of land in the framework of the Programme of Conservation of the Landscape and the Programme for Revitalization of River Systems. Financing is provided by the State Environment Fund and foreign aid.

Cooperation

The Czech Republic signed and ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity in 1993.  It has also ratified the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and submitted its latest report for this Convention in 1995.

The Czech Republic has signed the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat, Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, and Agreement on the Conservation of Bats in Europe. Bilateral cooperation develops with Germany and other European countries.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of the Czech Republic to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: December 1997.

Click here for information on protected areas in the Czech Republic.
Click here for the International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Biosafety WebPages
Click here to link to the Biosafety Information Network and Advisory Service (BINAS), a service of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which monitors global developments in regulatory issues in biotechnology.
Click here to go to the Web Site of UNEP's International Register on Biosafety.
Click here to link to biosafety web sites in the European Union.]
For access to the Web Site of the Convention on Biological Diversity, click here:
For access to the Web Site of the CITES Convention, click here:
For the Web Site of the CMS Convention, click here:
For the Web Site of the Convention on the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage, click here:
For the country-by-country, Man in the Biosphere On-Line Query System, click here:

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DESERTIFICATION AND DROUGHT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

No information is available 

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation

The Czech Republic is preparing to accede to the International Convention to Combat Desertification in Countries Experiencing Drought and/or Desertification Particularly in Africa.  Czech experts are prepared to help developing countries in the sphere of  pedology, hydrology, and other related areas.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of the Czech Republic to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: December 1997.

For access to the Web Site of the Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought, click here:

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ENERGY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies

No information is available 

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

Between 1990 and 1994, the production of energy shifted from the use of fossil to renewable fuels, although coal and lignite are still the most important sources of energy in the Czech Republic (59% in 1992). Consequently, the relative output of the energy industry in producing emissions has fallen. Air pollution is still considered to be the number one environmental problem in the country. Therefore, an Air Recovery Programme was adopted and measures to reduce emissions are being implemented in most large coal-burning power stations. Some units have been shut down. Gasification projects in municipalities are proceeding rapidly.

The restructuring of the industrial sector, namely outdated plants, has also resulted in reduction of emissions. Since 1986, the consumption of ozone depleting substances has decreased by 88%. Current legislation stimulates industry to take remedial measures and to invest in environmental improvements. Emission limits have also been established by law, and the 1998 deadline for compliance with prescribed emission limits is projected to be met by approximately 75% of polluters. However, the provisions concerning air pollution are inadequate for providing sufficient incentives for industries to reduce emissions and/or introduce pollution control techniques. In addition, the national economy continues to demand more energy. Coal and all kinds of energy sources are subject to a reduced level of value added tax, and the prices of energy and energy carriers are very cheap. Incentives to encourage energy saving and to apply modern energy efficiency technology are also inadequate.

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation  

No information is available

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of the Czech Republic to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: December 1997.

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FORESTS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Environment are responsible for decision-making in this area.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

A State Forest Policy was approved by the Government in 1994. The protection of the forests and forest management are provided by Act No. 289/1995, which creates the legal framework for balanced management of all the functions of forests. The Act stipulates the obligation of reforestation of clearings within two years.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects 

A programme of afforestation of agricultural land began in 1994. In the framework of the programme subsidized within the restructuring of plant production (total amount CZK 65 million) 1,516 ha were afforested during 1994-1996. In some areas damaged by emissions, foundations developed which subsidize regeneration of forests.

Status 

Forests cover 33% of the country's territory (2,631,000 ha) and these areas are increasing (see other data). Of the forest territory, some 43% has been classified as protective forest area and special purpose areas. Forest in large-scale and small-scale protected areas covers approximately 27% of the forest area.

Most of the forest areas had to be logged due to emission damage since 1958. In 1994, 63% of the forest area was damaged; in 1995, 61.6%; in 1996, 59.7%. Most of the resulting clearings have been reforested. The threat to forests has seemingly diminished after the logging of the destroyed areas on the North Bohemian mountain ranges and the reduction of emissions of sulphur compounds, through the health of forest vegetation, dropped further at some sites.

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising

No information is available 

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies 

No information is available

Financing 

Financing is provided by the State Agricultural and Forest Subsidence Fund.

Cooperation

The Czech Republic maintains bilateral agreements with Germany and Austria in the area of forests.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of the Czech Republic to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: December 1997.

Click here for information on land use for forests.
Click here for the UN ECE Timber Data Base.

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FRESHWATER

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

Decision-making in the area of freshwater is the responsibility of the Ministry of Environment with its regional offices, the Czech Inspection of the Environment and the State Environment Fund. The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute carries out assessments of surface and ground water resources. The State Water Inspection measures water quality indicators, and the results are published annually.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Protection of waters and the provisions related to water management are provided by Act No. 138/1973, Act No. 425/l990 and Act No. 114/1995.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

One of the primary objectives of the State Environmental Policy is to reduce the pollution of ground and surface waters. Special attention is paid to the protection of drinking water resources and to the further reduction of BOD5, heavy metals and specific organic compounds, i.e. substances which have a detrimental impact on human health.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status 

Waters represent 2% of the total land area of the Czech Republic.  The total amount of discharged waste water decreased in the period 1992-95 by more than 13 per cent, and the amount of treated waste waters increased in the same period by nearly 8 per cent. The overall discharged pollution thus decreased by more than 9 per cent. There is now a trend toward increasing ground water quality.

Due to massive investments in the waste water treatment plants during 1993-1995, the waste discharged into rivers is decreasing. The new reductions placed on chemical production plants and more efficient treatment of waste water have contributed to a significant reduction in the concentration of toxic substances in surface waters. For example, the total amount of BOD has decreased by 40%. It is envisaged that by the year 2000, all cities and towns with more than 5,000 inhabitants will have a waste water plant.

On the other hand, the quality of drinking water withdrawn from the surface waters has neither improved nor deteriorated. People are aware of health risks and consume bottled water. The quality of drinking water is assessed in accordance with the WHO Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality.

The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute carries out assessments of surface and ground water resources. It also installs and runs a network of hydrological, meteorological and climatic stations, as well as air quality stations. In 1994, there were 505 surface water and 2,550 groundwater observation stations. The indicators primarily used to measure water quality are the following: the registered number of sources of pollution; the registered length of water courses; the length of severely and excessively polluted rivers, and the amount of sewage and impurities released to rivers.

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies 

No information is available

Financing 

The water management sector is characterized by a rather complicated system of charges and prices of supplied water and water treatment. Charges are levied on water withdrawn from surface water reservoirs and from underground sources. They are generally low (CZK 2/m3; US$ 0.077), and there are many exemptions. Other charges are levied on all waste waters discharged into water courses. The revenues from waste water charges are part of the State Environmental Fund's budget, and in 1994 they amounted to CZK 976 million (US$ 37.5 million). Water management is heavily subsidized from the national budget. In l993, a total of CZK 2,777,000 (US$ 106,800,000) was allocated to this sector. In addition, some CZK 1,672,000 (US$ 64,300,000) was used from the State Environmental Fund for this purpose.

Cooperation

The Czech Republic cooperates closely with its neighboring countries in the field of utilization of frontier river courses. Bilateral agreements have been signed with Poland, Austria, Germany and Slovakia. The Czech Republic has also sent experts on the management and planning of water resources to the developing countries of Africa and Asia.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of the Czech Republic to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: December 1997.

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LAND MANAGEMENT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

Decision-making is undertaken by the Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry for Regional Development, and Ministry of Transport and Communication.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

One of the priorities of the State Environmental Policy (1995) is to create land use provisions which will safeguard the efficient protection of the individual components of the environment (water, soil, forest, climate), and fulfill international commitments through regional planning.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

Major Groups involved include the Society for Sustainable Living and other NGOs, and the Commission for the Environment of the Academy of Science of CR.

Programmes and Projects 

The Programme for Renewal of Rural Areas emphasizes the development of the economies of municipalities, construction renewal, construction of civic and technical infrastructure and also care for the landscape. In the framework of this programme, emphasis is placed on the necessity of preparing a suitable strategy (preparation of territorial plans of urban studies and local renewal programmes) which must precede the actual implementation of the local programmes.

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing

Financing is provided by the State budget, State Environmental Fund, and foreign aid.

Cooperation  

No information is available

 

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of the Czech Republic to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: December 1997.

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MOUNTAINS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

Decision-making is the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of the Environment, and Ministry for Regional Development.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects 

The Krkonose and Sumava Biosphere Reserves are taking part in a project financed by the Global Environmental Facility, through the World Bank. The main objective of the project is to develop effective management techniques and model conservation programmes that would effectively address increasing threats, and allow control of the number of visitors.

Status 

Most of the mountainous areas are part of protected areas - national parks, protected landscape areas, watershed areas with retention water management functions, biosphere reserves, and core areas of EECONET.

Mountainous areas are wooded areas in the Czech Republic, and forests have been damaged by emissions. Agriculture in the mountains is subsidized - i.e. maintenance of the cultural condition through an agricultural land fund. Recreational activities do not yet exceed the acceptable levels, except for the Krkonose National Park. An estimate of the number of visitors to Krkonose National Park is 8 million per year. Eco-tourism is being developed.

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing 

Subsidies were provided from the State budget for the following measures: protection of the landscape against erosion, preservation and reinforcing species biodiversity, increasing the retention capacity of land, etc. in the framework of the Programme of Conservation of the Landscape and Programme for Revitalization of River Systems.

Financing is provided by the State budget and the State Environment Fund.

Cooperation

The Czech Republic has bilateral agreements with Germany and Austria, and cooperation with Poland in this area. As a result of Czech-Austrian cooperation, there is a project for the systematic revitalization of a Sub-mountain headwater landscape in the surrounding of Senotín located in southern Bohemia, in the border region of the CR and Austria. It is based on a holistic bio- and socio-environmental approach to landscape management.

 

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This information was provided by the Government of the Czech Republic to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: December 1997.

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OCEANS AND COASTAL AREAS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies    

No information is available

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

No information is available

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status 

There issue area is not considered applicable by the Czech Republic.

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation  

The Czech Republic has signed The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

 

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This information was provided by the Government of the Czech Republic to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: December 1997.

To access the Web Site of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, click here:

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TOXIC CHEMICALS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Hygienic Services Department of the Ministry of Health is responsible for the protection of human health and a healthy working environment. The Ministry of Environment is responsible for the management of toxic chemicals and hazardous wastes and provides technical help. The Ministry of Agriculture is responsible for pesticide problems. The Union of Chemical Industries and large manufacturers collaborate closely with the State authorities in the management of toxic chemicals and hazardous wastes.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The laws governing this issue are the following: the Act on Human Health (20/1966), the Government Regulation on Poisons and Some Other Compounds Harmful to Human Health (192/1988 and 182/1990), Regulation on Principles of Treating Chemical Carcinogens (64/1984), and the Act on the Treatment and Examination of Some Kinds of Commodities and Technologies (547/1990). The registration of pesticides is governed by the Act on the Expansion of Plant Production (61/1964).

The Ministry of the Environment was reviewing and revising the legislation in 1994. The aim was to register and regulate chemicals discharged into the environment, to anticipate their impact on the environment, and to set new limits. At that time, the Law on Chemicals was being amended to better cover the interlink ages of environment and health. The proposal to establish a legal and institutional framework for the management of chemical substances was also presented to the Government in 1994.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

One of the future priorities of the State Environmental Policy will be to complete the environmental risk assessment system for toxic chemicals and to create a regulatory framework for their use, including transboundary movement. At this time, the Act on Chemicals is to be prepared. The bill is fully harmonized with EU and OECD standards.

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

No information is available

Challenges

In 1994, the principal problem for the environmentally sound management of toxic chemicals in the Czech Republic was inadequate legislation and its incompatibility with the legislation of the European Union. The laws did not contain testing requirements for the environmental toxicity of chemicals, and there were no laws on good laboratory practices. Neither did the legislation provide necessary protection measures concerning the transport of chemical substances. There was also an unclear division of labor and decision-making among different authorities, and there were no registration and notification practices. The existing limits were not based on thorough risk assessments and testing.

Lack of funds slows down the development of legislation, purchasing databases, training of specialists, testing of chemicals, risk assessment, development of analytical instruments (mainly for ecotoxicology) and computerization.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information 

With regard to the collection of data, a national information center has been established under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment with support from the EU PHARE Programme. An inventory of existing chemical compounds was conducted in 1993-1994 with the help of the 500 - 600 principal producers, importers and customs offices. The national counterpart of the IRPTC (International Register of Potentially Toxic Chemicals) maintains contacts with the IRPTC, and harmonizes national databases with it. The most important national databases in the field are the following: CHEMBANK, IRIS, TOXLINE, HEADSET, EINECS, and IRPTC.

Research and Technologies 

A network of laboratories specialized in chemicals has been created with the help of the EU PHARE Programme and Suisse Fund.

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation

In the management of toxic chemicals, the Czech Republic cooperates with the United Nations and UNEP, and takes part in the IRPTC.

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This information was provided by the Government of the Czech Republic to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: December 1997.

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WASTE AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

Solid Waste and Sanitation

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

No information is available 

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The present legal norms concerning waste management proceed from the 1991 Act on Waste Management (238/1991) and do not comply with the relevant standards issued by the EU and OECD. In addition, these laws do not provide adequate incentives to encourage waste minimization. Existing economic instruments such as waste disposal charges often encourage undesirable types of waste disposal (unsorted land filling), and do not encourage waste producers to collect and recycle the waste. Many waste producers are unable to make the necessary investments in environmental technologies, and this inability is further hampered by their financial obligation to pay waste disposal charges. In addition, the transboundary movement of secondary raw materials is controlled according to Basel Convention. The CR legislation is stricter than the European Standards in some aspects because all wastes or secondary raw materials are controlled.

The new Waste Management Act No. 125/ 1997 Coll., effective 1 January 1998, was drafted to meet the deficiencies of these laws. For example, the local authorities are given more responsibilities in waste management.

Other relevant legislation includes the following:

-- Act No. 311/1991 on the State Administration of Waste management, amended by Act 466/1992;
-- Act No. 62/1992 on the charges for land filling of waste, amended by Act No. 41/1995;
-- Decree No. 521/1991 on the maintenance of records on waste;
-- Decree No. 401/1991 of the Ministry of Environment on Waste Management Programmes;
-- Measures of the Federal Committee of the Environment promulgating the categorization and catalogue of wastes, Volume 69/1991;
-- Communication No. 100/1994 on the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status 

There were 85.7 million tons of wastes generated in the CR in 1995. In 1995, there were 1270 landfills and 90 incineration plants in operation. However, only 294 of them operated under valid legal provisions and only 50 incineration plants met valid emission limits. In addition, there were 95 operational recycling facilities as well as 27 composting plants in 1995.

In 1995, 73% of the population was connected to public sewage systems. As of 1994, some 84.5 % of the waste water in public sewage systems was at least partially treated before being discharged.

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising

No information is available 

Information 

The information Center on wastes develops and operates a Waste Information System for decision management and legislative activity of the Ministry of Environment.

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing 

Financing is provided by the private sector and the State Environmental Fund. Cooperation takes place through various bilateral agreements.

Cooperation  

No information is available

 

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This information was provided by the Government of the Czech Republic to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: December 1997.

Hazardous Wastes

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Ministry of the Environment is responsible for the management of toxic chemicals and hazardous wastes. The Ministry of Agriculture is responsible for problem of pesticides. The State Institute for Health Protection and the Czech Environmental Institute also take part in the decision-making.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was signed in 1991 and ratified in 1993. The latest information was provided to the Basel Convention Secretariat in 1997.

The laws and regulations dealing with the management of hazardous waste are the following:

- Waste Management Act (238/1991) prohibiting the import of hazardous waste for disposal;
- Act 238/1991 C.B. ( 3, Section 4, a-d) requires the approval of the Ministry of the Environment for the import of any wastes destined for recovery and recycling operations;
- Act 238/1992 C.B. ( 3, Section 4) regulates the export of hazardous and other waste and requires the approval of the Ministry of Environment. It is limited to PCB wastes and old herbicides, because treatment capacity is not available in the country;
- Measures of the Federal Committee of the Environment promulgating the categorization and catalogue of wastes, Volume 69/1991;
- Communication No. 100/1994 on the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal; and
- Decree of the Government of the Czech Republic on Details of Waste Handling.

In 1995, the Czech Republic was drafting a new Waste Management Act. Within the framework of the new act, the country intends to introduce an objective system to determine measurements of waste toxicity (and its categorization), to harmonize the waste classifications with the EU policies, and to introduce a differentiated approach to the handling of hazardous wastes. In addition, the new Waste Management Act includes measures to simplify the administrative regime of the hazardous waste transport and to bring it into harmony with the general rules regarding the transport of dangerous substances. The new Act will also ensure that the provisions for the transboundary movement of secondary raw materials and wastes complies with EU and OECD standards (red, amber and green lists).

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement   

No information is available

Programmes and Projects 

No information is available

Status 

In 1991, some 180 million tons of waste were generated in the Czech Republic. Of this amount, some 5.4 million tons were hazardous waste. The Waste Management Act (238/1991) implements the goals of the Basel Convention to a great extent, although there is not full conformity with the Czech Catalogue of Wastes (Vol. 69/1991). In the Czech Republic, wastes are classified as special and other waste. Special waste, which is pollutant or which has significant hazardous properties for human beings or for the environment, can also be classified as hazardous waste.

With respect to the development of the Czech economy in the last seven years and due to the implementation of environmental protection measures which implicitly include the Agenda 21 principles, the following major achievements in our country can be identified:

- Decrease of the negative impacts of environmentally hazardous factors on the health of the population: The health risks caused by pollutants in the air, water and foodstuffs show a decreasing tendency. The overall assessment of the quality of drinking water based on 250,000 analyses performed in 1994, exceeded only in 0.85 per cent of cases unacceptable values.
- Decrease of the negative influence of mining and quarrying on the state of the geological environment: The overall mining area decreased by 24 per cent. Measures were begun to eliminate the negative consequences of uranium mining by chemical leaching technologies.
- Reduction of the total number of operated waste dumps and the increase of the fraction operated in compliance with the new waste legislation: The overall number of waste dumps in operation decreased in the 1992-95 period by more than 37 per cent, the fraction of waste dumps (landfills) operated in compliance with the new waste legislation was 23 per cent in 1995.

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation  

Cooperation in this area takes place through bilateral agreements.

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This information was provided by the Government of the Czech Republic to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: December 1997.

Click here for information on special and hazardous waste.
For direct link to the Web Site of the Basel Convention, click here:

 

Radioactive Wastes

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Ministry of Environment is responsible for decision-making in this area. The Society for Sustainable Living and other non-governmental organizations also participate.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Sound management of radioactive wastes is provided by Act No. 18/1997 (Atomic Act) and the Decree of the Czech Republic Atomic Energy Office No. 67/1987 on the provision of nuclear safety in handling radioactive waste.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans  

No information is available

Decision-Making: Major Groups Involvement  

No information is available

Programmes and Projects   

No information is available

Status   

No information is available

Challenges  

No information is available

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising   

No information is available

Information   

No information is available

Research and Technologies   

No information is available

Financing   

No information is available

Cooperation

Cooperation takes place through bilateral agreements.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of the Czech Republic to the 5th Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: December 1997.

Click here for information on radioactivity and radon hazard.


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